KAM Announces New Board Members

Frankfort, KY- The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) announced today the appointment of five new members to its board of directors. The new members are Kerry Creech, Paul Czarapata, Daniel Murray, Jay Richert, and Derrick Thompson. Each of these new board members brings a unique perspective and experience in Kentucky manufacturing.

“The board and I are proud to welcome these five industry leaders as colleagues on the KAM Board,” said Frank Jemley, KAM’s President & CEO. “These individuals will add tremendous value to our organization with their manufacturing and education expertise.”

Since 1911, KAM has served as the advocate for the manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. KAM’s mission is to advocate, educate, and innovate on behalf of companies and their employees who make world-class products for the global economy.


Kerry D. Creech

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.

Vice President of Manufacturing

In August 2017, Kerry Creech became Vice President of Manufacturing for Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK), Inc. As such, his responsibilities include the overall management of all vehicle manufacturing and logistics at Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility in North America, which produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES 350. Kerry also serves as the Safety Director for TMMK.

Prior to being named Vice President of Manufacturing, Creech was General Manager of Assembly where he oversaw the final assembly of all vehicles.

From January 2013 to January 2016, Creech was general manager of Quality Control & Engineering. In this capacity, he led the company’s quality initiatives. His responsibilities included the quality assurance of new model launches, supplied parts, and total vehicle quality of all models manufactured at the plant.

Kerry has spent most of his Toyota career in Quality Control. In 1990, he began as a production team member in Powertrain, then promoted in 1991 to Team Leader in Powertrain Quality Control. In 1994, he was promoted to Specialist in Quality Engineering then to Assistant Manager in QE in 1995. He then was promoted in 2001 to Manager overseeing Avalon Project in QE and promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2007 over all of Quality Engineering.

In 2009, Kerry was dispatched to TMMI as AGM in Quality Control to support the launches of the Highlander and Sienna and returned to TMMK Quality Control in the same role in 2010.

A native of Kentucky, Creech has a military background serving in the United States Navy for 4 years. Additionally, prior to joining Toyota in 1990, he owned a Subway sandwich franchise. Kerry holds an Associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Lexington Community College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology from Grantham College.

Kerry currently serves on the board of Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

He is a strong supporter of our United States veterans, Susan G. Komen for the Cure ( as well as Leukemia/Lymphoma Society events & activities (

Kerry resides in Winchester, Kentucky with his wife, Tammy, and his heritage is Cherokee American Indian.

Dr. Paul Czarapata


Kentucky Community and Technical College System

Dr. Paul Czarapata was named the third president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on April 21, 2021.

Dr. Czarapata joined KCTCS in 2000 and most recently served as vice president and chief information officer. In this role, he was responsible for guiding the strategic direction of technology across the system of 16 colleges.

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Dr. Czarapata came to KCTCS after working for PeopleSoft, Oracle, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and three small software consulting firms. He’s also served as an adjunct professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and University of the Cumberlands.

Dr. Czarapata earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management and information systems from Northern Illinois University. He earned a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in instructional technology leadership both from Morehead State University.

Dr. Czarapata has a 13-year-old son and lives in Versailles. He is involved in several national and local organizations, loves to play golf and is a big Chicago sports fan.

Daniel Murray

Regal Rexnord

Plant Manager

Daniel Murray is the plant manager at Regal Rexnord in Morehead, Kentucky. He has served in this role since 2020 and leads all manufacturing facility functions. Prior to his work at Regal Rexford, Dan held a variety of manufacturing and engineering positions, including the General Manager of New Flyer of America, Inc., from 2013 to 2019, the Site Operations Manager at Wells Fargo from 2007 to 2012, and the Director of Operations at Boyd Corporation from 2004-2006.


Dan is an experienced and accomplished manufacturing leader with extensive expertise in plant operations management, full-cycle project management, supply chain optimization, root cause analysis, contract development/negotiations, data analysis, quality assurance, human resources management, inventory management, scheduling, and maintenance. He is skilled in analyzing production reports and resolving operational, manufacturing, and maintenance problems to prevent operational delays. He is encouraging of innovation while building high-performing teams that foster collaboration across all functional areas.

He holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dan resides in Louisville with his family.

Jay Richert

Marathon Petroleum Refinery

General Manager

Jay Richert is the General Manager at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The Catlettsburg Refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 291,000 barrels per day and approximately 760 employees. Over the course of his 24-year career with Marathon, Jay has worked at four refineries and the corporate office in Findlay, Ohio in roles of increasing responsibility. Jay holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. Jay is a member of the Manufacturing Committee for the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and a board member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Jay resides with his wife, Reta, in Boyd County, Kentucky.

Derrick Thompson

Atmos Energy

Senior Industrial Account Manager

Derrick has been in the natural industry for 20 plus years.  Over that time, Derrick worked with across the Industrial, Producer, LDC, and Power Generation markets within the interstate pipeline sector and joined Atmos Energy in 2021, where he works with Kentucky’s Industrial and Manufacturing markets to ensure their natural gas needs are met, safely and reliably.  Derrick received a BS in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from the University of Kentucky and earned his MBA from Brescia University.  Derrick has served on the board of directors with Tennessee Gas Association and Alabama Natural Gas Association where he also served on multiple committees throughout his tenure on those boards.  Derrick is heavily involved in Junior Achievement and currently serves on the board of directors and finance committee for Junior Achievement of West Kentucky.


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